Stefano Di Giusto
Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland
Udine Gorizia Trieste Pola Fiume e Lubiana durante l'occupazione tedesca 1943-1945
IFSML, Udine, 2005
807 pages; 23 original organigramms and maps in the text; 18 reproduction of original color maps in annex; 24 x 17 cm format; Italian text
From September 1943 and May 1945 the provinces of north-eastern Italy (Udine, Gorizia, Trieste, Pola, Fiume and the then Provincia di Lubiana, the Italian name of Ljubljana, in Slovenia) were occupied by the Germans and directly governed by them under the name of Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland (Operational Zone Adriatic Littoral, in short OZAK).
It was a strategically important region since some of the main communication line between the Reich, Italy and the Balkans run through it, and since it was close to Austria and hence the possible target of an Allied landing operation. Such strategical considerations, as well as the intense Italian and Jugoslav partisan armed resistance active in the region, forced the Germans to constantly maintain there strong occupation military and police units. These were supported by forces of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana and by numerous collaborationist units of various other nationalities (Slovenians, Croats, Cossacks, Caucasians, Serbs, Montenegrins, etc.).
The present study – mainly based on original German and Italian archival sources – analyses the evolution of the armed forces of German (both army and SS/police), Italian and other nationality that were active in the OZAK, from the entry in Italy of the first German units at the end of August 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945. Specific chapters are dedicated to the anti-partisan operations conducted in the region.
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